Seven Worlds, One Planet, BBC America's new big-budget, big-scope documentary series, devotes one episode to each of Earth's continents—beginning with an episode devoted to Australia.
Filmed before that continent's still-ongoing wildfire outbreak, the entire "Australia" episode has even more resonance now. Sir David Attenborough, the narrator, has been presiding over these wonderful nature films for close to 70 years, and his opening words in the "Australia" program are so on-point it's spooky: "This is a land of survivors," he says.
It has to be. Recent news reports from Australia say that the wildfires have swept across as many as 27 million acres of land and killed up to a billion animals. A billion. On Kangaroo Island alone, 25,000 koalas have been killed—and their habitat, especially the lush eucalyptus trees, gone.
Koalas and kangaroos figure prominently in this "Australia" episode. So do Tasmanian devils and wild budgies, dingoes and jumping spiders, and so much more.
The filmmakers capture these creatures doing amazing things, with state-of-the-art technology that makes sure to remember the "art" part. Some of the behaviors caught on tape are very rare sights—as are some of the animals. At episode's end, in another prescient piece of narration, Attenborough points that the very survival of the animals in Australia depends on us.